A Look Inside the July-August Issue
By John Elsasser
Welcome to our combined July/August special edition of Strategies & Tactics. The issue theme is Health & Wellness, which we selected for the summer months when creating our 2020 editorial calendar last fall — long before phrases such as “social distancing” would become part of our daily lexicon.
Our features include creating a wellness program for your organization, maintaining a strong company culture in the virtual workplace and supporting the well-being of new pros.
We hope that these articles help you make some healthy choices as you return to the office or continue to work from home in the weeks ahead.
Addressing systemic racism
This summer, we’ve seen organizations of all sizes condemning the death of George Floyd — and other unarmed Black men and women by police — and endorsing the global protests for racial equality.
As countless observers and commentators have stated, companies will have to show they must do more than issue statements and reckon with the ways that their internal cultures may be perpetuating economic injustice and racial bias.
Working with our Diversity & Inclusion Committee, we asked D&I chairs from PRSA Chapters across the country for their insights on advocating for more actionable steps on racial equality. Read what these leaders have to say at this link.
In our monthly Profiles in PR, we spoke with longtime member Marsha Pitts-Phillips, the Minnesota Chapter’s diversity and inclusion chair.
Days after the killing of Floyd on a Minneapolis street, she wrote an eloquent essay for the Chapter’s website: “I feel compelled to share the heaviness in my heart over what transpired; the fatigue of the repetitive pattern-almost-commonplace occurrences of African-American men and women who have been killed at the hands of law enforcement.”
She talked more with Managing Editor Amy Jacques about that post and what communicators can do moving forward. “Writing the commentary was critical for my personal grief and as a professional. I felt a deep sense of responsibility as an African-American woman, as diversity and inclusion officer for the Minnesota Chapter and as a community member to use my voice and platform to speak to members.”
For more timely news and updates, visit PRsay, our blog that serves as an extension of this paper. There, you’ll find recaps on the two-part webinar that PRSA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee hosted in June titled “Responding to Racial Injustice With Change and Healing.”Other recent posts include how to contribute to conversations on racial equality and how communicators can inform attitudes, opinions and beliefs on racial injustice.
Remembering Jim Roop
James J. Roop, APR, Fellow PRSA, a longtime volunteer who many of us on staff had the chance to work with through the years, passed away on June 21 in Cleveland. He was 70.
In his professional career, he worked for several agencies. In 1996, he started his own — Roop & Co., which continued on after his retirement in April 2019.
He was involved with PRSA for more than 40 years, serving as chair of the Honors and Awards Committee and chair of the Financial Communications Professional Interest Section.
In an interview with us in June 2015, we asked him about his PRSA commitment. “What’s not to like about networking and continuing education? I think it’s important to give back to both your community and your profession.”
We’ll see you back here in September. Meanwhile, check PRsay for new articles, and have a restful summer.